One afternoon I went out for my daily trike ride through Amish country and since I had my camera with me, I stopped to take some pictures of some pigeons that I saw on the top of a silo. There were dairy cattle down below in the barnyard, but I was more interested in the pigeons since I already had a lot of cow pictures.
It was then that I heard it and I couldn’t believe my ears. Was that a cow growling at me? I thought only dogs and cats growled—but a cow.
Then I heard it again, followed by a snort.
This time my eyes followed the sound and found this big cow with a ring through its nose.
Now, this cow snorted again, and I saw that there was a chain attached to that ring—which may have accounted for its bad mood but then I spotted testicles and that explained everything. This cow was the only cow with a nose ring in a whole barnyard full of cows and now I had a clearer understanding of what that ring means.
The bull started pawing the ground—first one foot and then the other. First a bit of dusting, then with each cycle, a bit more dirt being thrown, and then five minutes into this face down, this animal was taking me even more seriously with large clumps of dirt being flung over his back no less. I was glad there was this nice sturdy fence between me and him—and now I know why there is this nice sturdy fence. This isn’t the first time Mr. Big has taken exception to anyone near his cows.
The fence is strongly re-enforced on the INSIDE, not the outside, and now I know why!
He started to pace, stopping ever so often to eye me very pointedly—with intent. Staring me down. Telling me with body language and snorts that he’s Number One and I’m not a cow so my presence isn’t appreciated.
More glaring and staring.
Mr. Big’s first deep-throated bellow inspired me with the notion that this interview is o-v-e-r!
When the big guy bellowed, it was then that I decided that I should not tempt the strength of this fence against the strength of one-ton animal in full testosterone so I left Mr. Big with his harem and headed down the road to think about it for a while.
It makes more sense to me now that a farmer would put a ring in a bull’s nose. How else are you going to get his attention when his brains are stuck dangling between his hind legs. A good yank on that nose chain ought to do wonders when it comes to making this animal more docile when he’s being handled.
Come to think of it, when your teen-aged son comes home with a freshly pierced nose and a ring in it, don’t get angry with him. Look upon this as a blessing with unintended (at least on his part) consequences. The next time you’re having a meaningful discussion with this guy and he’s not listening, do what the farmer does—grab the young bull by the nose ring and you’ll get his brains back up where they belong.